Author Archives: A Googler

Building greater transparency and accountability with the Violative View Rate

In 2018, we introduced our Community Guidelines Enforcement Report to increase transparency and accountability around our efforts to protect viewers. It was a first-of-its-kind look at the content we removed from YouTube for violating our policies, and included the number of videos removed, how that violative content was first identified, reasons for removal, and more. Over the years, we’ve continued to share additional metrics, such as the number of content appeals and subsequent reinstatements. Since launching this report, we’ve removed over 83 million videos and 7 billion comments for violating our Community Guidelines. Just as important, our report has been tracking the impact of our deep investments in machine learning technology in 2017, measuring how well we catch violative content. For example, we’re now able to detect 94% of all violative content on YouTube by automated flagging, with 75% removed before receiving even 10 views. Today, we’re releasing a new data point in our report that will provide even more transparency around the effectiveness of our systems: the Violative View Rate


Put simply, the Violative View Rate (VVR) helps us determine what percentage of views on YouTube comes from content that violates our policies. Our teams started tracking this back in 2017, and across the company it’s the primary metric used to measure our responsibility work. As we’ve expanded our investment in people and technology, we’ve seen the VVR fall. The most recent VVR is at 0.16-0.18% which means that out of every 10,000 views on YouTube, 16-18 come from violative content. This is down by over 70% when compared to  the same quarter of 2017, in large part thanks to our investments in machine learning.  Going forward, we will update the VVR quarterly in our Community Guidelines Enforcement Report


VVR data gives critical context around how we're protecting our community. Other metrics like the turnaround time to remove a violative video, are important. But they don't fully capture the actual impact of violative content on the viewer. For example, compare a violative video that got 100 views but stayed on our platform for more than 24 hours with content that reached thousands of views in the first few hours before removal. Which ultimately has more impact? We believe the VVR is the best way for us to understand how harmful content impacts viewers, and to identify where we need to make improvements.



We calculate VVR by taking a sample of videos on YouTube and sending it to our content reviewers who tell us which videos violate our policies and which do not. By sampling, we gain a more comprehensive view of the violative content we might not be catching with our systems. However, the VVR will fluctuate -- both up and down.  For example, immediately after we update a policy, you might see this number temporarily go up as our systems ramp up to catch content that is newly classified as violative.


 


Our ongoing goal is for the YouTube community to thrive as we continue to live up to our responsibility. The Community Guidelines Enforcement Report documents the clear progress made since 2017, but we also recognize our work isn't done. It’s critical that our teams continually review and update our policies, work with experts, and remain transparent about the improvements in our enforcement work. We’re committed to these changes because they are good for our viewers, and good for our business—violative content has no place on YouTube. We invest significantly in keeping it off, and the VVR holds us accountable and helps us better understand the progress we’ve made in protecting people from harmful content on YouTube. 


Posted by Jennifer O'Connor, Director, YouTube Trust & Safety


Spot misinformation online with these tips

The COVID-19 pandemic. Elections around the world. Fact-checkers worldwide have had a busy year. More than 50,000 new fact checks surfaced on Google Search over the past year, with all fact checks receiving more than 2.4 billion impressions in Search in that timeframe. 


A growing body of external research suggests that fact checks can help counter falsehoods. In a new report supported by the Google News Initiative published today, researchers Ethan Porter, Thomas Wood and Yamil Velez found that corrections in the form of fact checks reduce the effects of misinformation on beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine.


Fact-checking isn’t just for the professionals, however. Every day, people seek evidence to confirm or refute a piece of information they’re uncertain about. Over the past 12 months, Google searches in India for “is it true that...” were higher than “how to make coffee,” and that’s saying something given last year’s Dalgona craze


We're committed to supporting all users as they look for reliable information online, and sharing our insights with other organizations to strengthen fact checking.


With that in mind, and ahead of International Fact Checking Day on April 2, here are five simple tips to help you ask the right questions so you can better spot misinformation online. 


  1. Check if an image is being used in the right context.


A picture is worth 1000 words, as the old adage goes. But a picture can also be taken out of context or edited to mislead. You can search with an image by right clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” You can do the same on mobile by touching and holding the image. This will look for the picture to check if it has appeared online before, and in what context, so you can see if it has been altered from its original meaning.


See how an image is being used in context online. You can search with an image by right clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” This is a simulated example to illustrate how this product works and not the actual experience. 



  1. Look for news coverage.


What’s better than one source? Several! See how (and whether) different news outlets have reported on the same event so that you can get the full picture. Switch to news mode or search for a topic in news.google.com. Make sure to click through to “Full Coverage” if the option is available.


Looking for news on if Earth was visited by aliens? In this simulated example you can see how you can click to find Full Coverage on a topic, and see what other news orgs are covering it.  This GIF is a simulated example and is not the full experience of how the product works


  1. Consult the fact-checkers.


Fact-checkers may have addressed that random story your relative sent you in the group chat – or a similar one that will point you in the right direction to find out what really happened. Try searching for the topic in the Fact Check Explorer, which collects more than 100,000 fact checks from reputable publishers around the world. 


In this simulated example see how you can use Fact Check Explorer to find out if an online claim has been fact checked. This is a demonstration of how the product works and not the full experience.  


  1. Use Google Maps or Earth to verify the location.


False stories about events happening in far-off places can spread due to our lack of familiarity with their location. If you want to get a sense of whether a photo is actually from the place it claims to be from, try checking Google Earth or look at the Street View of a location on Google Maps in regions where it is available.


Say your friend sends you a story about Bigfoot strolling by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Searching for the Eiffel Tower on Street View will at the very least confirm that the tower doesn’t have a big red cowboy hat at the top (like it does in Paris, Texas). If that part doesn’t check out, the rest of the story might be fishy, too.



In this simulated example, you can see how you can find the differences between the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and the one in Paris, Texas. This is just a demonstration and not the full product experience. 


We’re committed to helping people spot misinformation online and supporting the fact-checking ecosystem. 

Most recently, we provided $3 million to journalistic efforts fact-checking misinformation about the COVID-19 immunization process. We're supporting a broad collaborative project led by The Quint in India that will seek to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women. 

We will also be launching the first GNI University Verification Challenge across Asia and in India to boost awareness and knowledge among journalism students.

Through our philanthropic arm, we've been supporting Interviews and Dataleads with their FactShala program. Through this training program, 253 journalists, fact-checkers, media educators, non-profit workers and community radio representatives have come together as trainers to educate more than 23,000 people across the country leading over 540 virtual and in-person workshops in at least 15 languages. FactShala has also collaborated with more than 200 radio stations reaching approximately 1.3 million people across 8,400 villages.

For more tips and best practices, check out the resources put together by the International Fact-Checking Network at factcheckingday.com. And if you’re a journalist, check out the GNI Training Center.


Posted by Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead

Celebrate Holi virtually with stories from across India

The onset of spring in India is celebrated with Holi, the festival of color. As we well know, celebrations occur over multiple days, with rituals, playing with colours, special food, dance and music. This year, especially in light of many people practicing social distancing or avoiding physical gatherings altogether, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism and 15 cultural institutions globally to create Holi @ Home, a virtual destination for everyone to explore and experience.

L-R: The Yaoshang Prayer Ritual in Manipur, Palanquins in Puri (from Incredible India), and a Baul Performance at a Folk Holi Festival (from Banglanatak)

Dive deeper into regional traditions

L-R: A Display of Horse Riding Skills, Idols used in a Shigmo Procession, Yubi Lakpi (from Incredible India)

Read about the legends and the science behind Holi, then travel virtually to Manipur to learn about the Yaoshang festival and pick up the rules of Yubi Lakpi, a rugby-like game but with a coconut. Sway to the music of the bauls from West Bengal, and admire elaborately-crafted palanquins from Odisha central to Holi there. Head over to Punjab to attend a spectacular show of sporting skills at Hola Mohalla, but do stop by the Kumaon region in the Himalayas and sing in a baithak, before going west to Goa to watch the animated floats at the Shigmo festival.

Have fun with friends and family  

  Puzzle party - Holi Edition

We’re also launching multiplayer Holi-themed jigsaw puzzles that you can piece together with family and friends virtually. Puzzle away online during the holiday - you can even choose between difficulty settings for everyone, from the beginners to the pros.

We hope Holi @ Home inspires you to celebrate Holi safely from the comfort of your home with Google Arts & Culture, available on iOS and Android.

Posted by Simon Rein, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture


5 ways Search can help you learn

As students, parents and teachers continue to rise to the challenges of remote learning, we’ve created tools across desktop and mobile to help you find the best educational resources on the web. Whether it’s step-by-step guidance on complex math problems you’ve been stuck on or visual 3D models to ace that chemistry lab report, Search is here to help. These features are currently available in English everywhere, with plans to expand to more languages. And to make these tools more accessible, we’ve built these products to support screen readers and improved keyboard usage for people with motor disabilities. 

Here are five tools you can use to you help you L.E.A.R.N.: 

Look up over 2000 STEM concepts for quick access to educational resources  

When you search for underlying science and math concepts, such as “chemical bonds'', you’ll have easy access to educational overviews, useful examples, and helpful videos from across the web. 

Explore close to a million practice problems

Practice makes perfect, and with the launch of practice problems you can do just that. This interactive feature tests your knowledge of high school math, chemistry and physics topics directly on Search. Start by looking up a subject matter like “chemical bond practice problems”. You'll be one click away from learning resources from educational providers like BBC Bitesize, Byjus, Careers360, Chegg, CK12, Education Quizzes, GradeUp, Great Minds, Kahoot!, OpenStax, Toppr, Vedantu and more.

An animated image of screen showing how when you type something like 'chemical bond practice problems' into the Search bar you can access practice problems and quiz questions related to that topic.

Augment lessons with 3D models 

Who said you couldn’t turn your living room into a science lab? Our 3D augmented reality concepts bring to life over 200 chemistry, biology, physics and anatomy concepts — right in your room. With the help of AR on mobile you can visualize everything from a human skeleton to Bohr’s model.

An animated image of screen showing how when you type something like 'chemical bonds' into the Search bar you can choose to view it in AR.

Review how to solve math problems

Are you struggling to help your child with their math homework? Don’t worry, Google has your back. Type the  equation, like “x^2-3x-4=0”, into the Search bar or take a picture through Lens in the Google App to find step-by-step explanations in over 70 languages. We’re expanding support to even more types of math equations through our partnerships with Symbolab, Mathway (a Chegg Service), and Tiger Algebra which is coming. You’ll also be able to access a variety of explanations for how to solve math problems, increasing the chances that one of them may stick.

Navigate complex questions 

Getting stuck on a tricky STEM question, like “0.50 moles of NaCI are dissolved in 2.5 L of water, what is the molarity?” can be frustrating. In the coming weeks, you can access detailed explanations for specific questions and similar ones as well as targeted resources on these types of complex subjects. These tools will help take your understanding to the next level.

Posted by Mailys Robin, Product Manager, Learning and Education, and Michael Le, Product Manager, Learning and Education

 


5 ways Search can help you learn

As students, parents and teachers continue to rise to the challenges of remote learning, we’ve created tools across desktop and mobile to help you find the best educational resources on the web. Whether it’s step-by-step guidance on complex math problems you’ve been stuck on or visual 3D models to ace that chemistry lab report, Search is here to help. These features are currently available in English everywhere, with plans to expand to more languages. And to make these tools more accessible, we’ve built these products to support screen readers and improved keyboard usage for people with motor disabilities. 

Here are five tools you can use to you help you L.E.A.R.N.: 

Look up over 2000 STEM concepts for quick access to educational resources  

When you search for underlying science and math concepts, such as “chemical bonds'', you’ll have easy access to educational overviews, useful examples, and helpful videos from across the web. 

Explore close to a million practice problems

Practice makes perfect, and with the launch of practice problems you can do just that. This interactive feature tests your knowledge of high school math, chemistry and physics topics directly on Search. Start by looking up a subject matter like “chemical bond practice problems”. You'll be one click away from learning resources from educational providers like BBC Bitesize, Byjus, Careers360, Chegg, CK12, Education Quizzes, GradeUp, Great Minds, Kahoot!, OpenStax, Toppr, Vedantu and more.

An animated image of screen showing how when you type something like 'chemical bond practice problems' into the Search bar you can access practice problems and quiz questions related to that topic.

Augment lessons with 3D models 

Who said you couldn’t turn your living room into a science lab? Our 3D augmented reality concepts bring to life over 200 chemistry, biology, physics and anatomy concepts — right in your room. With the help of AR on mobile you can visualize everything from a human skeleton to Bohr’s model.

An animated image of screen showing how when you type something like 'chemical bonds' into the Search bar you can choose to view it in AR.

Review how to solve math problems

Are you struggling to help your child with their math homework? Don’t worry, Google has your back. Type the  equation, like “x^2-3x-4=0”, into the Search bar or take a picture through Lens in the Google App to find step-by-step explanations in over 70 languages. We’re expanding support to even more types of math equations through our partnerships with Symbolab, Mathway (a Chegg Service), and Tiger Algebra which is coming. You’ll also be able to access a variety of explanations for how to solve math problems, increasing the chances that one of them may stick.

Navigate complex questions 

Getting stuck on a tricky STEM question, like “0.50 moles of NaCI are dissolved in 2.5 L of water, what is the molarity?” can be frustrating. In the coming weeks, you can access detailed explanations for specific questions and similar ones as well as targeted resources on these types of complex subjects. These tools will help take your understanding to the next level.

Posted by Mailys Robin, Product Manager, Learning and Education, and Michael Le, Product Manager, Learning and Education

 


5 ways Search can help you learn

As students, parents and teachers continue to rise to the challenges of remote learning, we’ve created tools across desktop and mobile to help you find the best educational resources on the web. Whether it’s step-by-step guidance on complex math problems you’ve been stuck on or visual 3D models to ace that chemistry lab report, Search is here to help. These features are currently available in English everywhere, with plans to expand to more languages. And to make these tools more accessible, we’ve built these products to support screen readers and improved keyboard usage for people with motor disabilities. 

Here are five tools you can use to you help you L.E.A.R.N.: 

Look up over 2000 STEM concepts for quick access to educational resources  

When you search for underlying science and math concepts, such as “chemical bonds'', you’ll have easy access to educational overviews, useful examples, and helpful videos from across the web. 

Explore close to a million practice problems

Practice makes perfect, and with the launch of practice problems you can do just that. This interactive feature tests your knowledge of high school math, chemistry and physics topics directly on Search. Start by looking up a subject matter like “chemical bond practice problems”. You'll be one click away from learning resources from educational providers like BBC Bitesize, Byjus, Careers360, Chegg, CK12, Education Quizzes, GradeUp, Great Minds, Kahoot!, OpenStax, Toppr, Vedantu and more.

An animated image of screen showing how when you type something like 'chemical bond practice problems' into the Search bar you can access practice problems and quiz questions related to that topic.

Augment lessons with 3D models 

Who said you couldn’t turn your living room into a science lab? Our 3D augmented reality concepts bring to life over 200 chemistry, biology, physics and anatomy concepts — right in your room. With the help of AR on mobile you can visualize everything from a human skeleton to Bohr’s model.

An animated image of screen showing how when you type something like 'chemical bonds' into the Search bar you can choose to view it in AR.

Review how to solve math problems

Are you struggling to help your child with their math homework? Don’t worry, Google has your back. Type the  equation, like “x^2-3x-4=0”, into the Search bar or take a picture through Lens in the Google App to find step-by-step explanations in over 70 languages. We’re expanding support to even more types of math equations through our partnerships with Symbolab, Mathway (a Chegg Service), and Tiger Algebra which is coming. You’ll also be able to access a variety of explanations for how to solve math problems, increasing the chances that one of them may stick.

Navigate complex questions 

Getting stuck on a tricky STEM question, like “0.50 moles of NaCI are dissolved in 2.5 L of water, what is the molarity?” can be frustrating. In the coming weeks, you can access detailed explanations for specific questions and similar ones as well as targeted resources on these types of complex subjects. These tools will help take your understanding to the next level.

Posted by Mailys Robin, Product Manager, Learning and Education, and Michael Le, Product Manager, Learning and Education

 


Unleashing the potential of Media & Entertainment businesses in India with Google Cloud

India’s vibrant business ecosystem, resilient economy and growing population provides extensive opportunities for organizations that embrace digital transformation and cloud strategy. For many businesses, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating transformation and prompting decision-makers to prioritize these programs in 2021. At Google Cloud, we are supporting the transition to a digital economy and aim to see India lead the next wave of innovation. 

 

Media & entertainment businesses are well positioned to lead this shift. With the industry’s value forecast to reach $25.56 billion in 2021-22, before rocketing to $43.93 billion by 2024, these businesses are benefiting from growing consumer demand and advertising revenue.

 

Furthermore, businesses that embrace digital technologies and models across all sectors are poised to thrive as India advances its digital agenda. 

 

At Google Cloud, we provide products, services and expertise that enables media & entertainment businesses of all sizes ‒from traditional players to up and coming digital natives‒realize their potential in this dynamic landscape. For example, our solutions include access to the computational power and global reach of our infrastructure to help render 2D or 3D elements for animation, film, commercials and video games. Businesses can also use our serverless, scalable data warehouse, BigQuery, to analyze data for insights that help improve audience engagement, and our storage, networking and compute infrastructure to deliver high-quality, low latency video content. 

 

They can also understand audiences more deeply through Looker and our streaming analytics platform, digitize, store and preserve content on Google Cloud, deliver AI-enriched video content and streamline processes like content search and delivery, and process, transcode and encode video assets quickly and securely by combining Google Cloud infrastructure with partner solutions.



M&E customers achieving benefits

 

InMobi Group businesses, smartphone lock screen content provider Glance and short-form video business Roposo, have turned to our products and services to power their growth.  Glance is using Google Cloud to scale an AI-powered personalized content platform to support 120 million+ daily active users just 20 months after launch. “When you talk about relevance [in] AI and data, I don’t think any conversation is complete without talking about what Google has been able to achieve in the last 20 years,” says Mohit Saxena, Co-Founder and Group CTO, InMobi.   

 

In addition, South Asian streaming entertainment service Eros Now is using Google Cloud AI and machine learning to automate subtitling of a range of movies and original content, with its cloud investment spanning infrastructure, modelling and running of workloads. Eros Now’s in-house data science team is training models to constantly improve the quality of subtitles, driving engagement by enabling users to watch a wide range of content.   

 

Meanwhile, entertainment network and brand owner Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd turned to us to  realize the potential of the Voot  digital video-on-demand streaming service.  With our products helping the business identify profitable customer cohorts and organic growth generated by its content decisions, Voot is now well positioned to operate as a profitable, evolved business at scale. 

 

Furthermore, Zeotap, a customer intelligence platform that helps brands understand customers and predict behaviors so they can improve engagement,hosts its data in Google Cloud, with a BigQuery analytics data warehouse delivering efficiencies that help accelerate product builds and releases. "Our mission is to help brands engage customers with the most appropriate marketing messages at the right place and at the right time while respecting consumer privacy and ensuring regulatory compliance. The experience of Google Cloud in working with large-scale datasets makes the platform an excellent fit for us," says Projjol Banerjea, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Zeotap.

 

Our people, products and services provide a compelling proposition for media & entertainment businesses in India to innovate and grow. We are deeply committed to this market and to helping power these dynamic businesses to digital success. 

  


-Bikram Singh Bedi, Managing Director, Google Cloud India



 


Inviting applications for Class 5 of Google for Startups Accelerator India


Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) India is a 3 month, free mentorship and support program for startups that are utilizing cutting edge tech to build for India and the world. Over the past few years, GFSA India has successfully worked with over 80 startups.


Last year,  through the Covid-19 season along with publishing Emerging Stronger: A Playbook for Startups to face the Covid-19 Challenge as a means to help startups with tactical tips to surviving the pandemic, we also doubled our cohort intake in a fully virtual program for Class 4, ensuring that their areas of solutioning focused on the urgent challenges of a post-pandemic world.



A look back at Class 4: 


With Class 4, we took 20 mentee startups - spanning across Education, Retail, Media & Entertainment, Healthcare, Agritech, Gaming, Sustainability and Hospitality verticals. We helped the startups through intensive mentorship sessions, delivered by Google & industry experts, workshops , custom connects and support across the areas of Technology, Product Strategy, Marketing, UX/UI, Growth and Leadership. 


In addition to technical mentoring, founders were also coached on key aspects of leadership, in a Google-created ‘Leaders Lab’, specially conceived to make leaders aware of the blindspots in their management styles.


These 20 startups have since graduated with multiple wins to their credit - including deploying and optimizing scalable tech architecture, managing growth, executing pivots through covid season, fundraises, features/ awards on Google Play and more.


Hearing from the founders and mentors:


“We were able to work with GCP to reduce our tech cost by upto 40% by optimising the infrastructure and running preemptible instances.”

- DCoder


“... during covid-19 we had to move from digital assisted to a 100% digital business, GFS Accelerator helped us pivot our business and came at a very right time . During this transition we were also able to raise capital.”

- Bharat Agri in an interview with CNBC



“We believe that after the program we would be able to manage our team better, we would be able to understand their needs and we have also learnt the importance of communicating business vision and values to our people.This would enable us to drive more value and efficiency from the team and we should also be able to retain them for longer.”

- BlackLight Games


“Google for Startups Accelerator was an enriching experience with access to top mentors in Product, Marketing, Growth and Technology. We had a chance to have at least 4-6 hour sessions weekly for the first month, and then 2-3 hours per week towards the end of the program.”

- Navia LifeCare



Apply Now for Class 5 of Google for Startups Accelerator :


While these 20 startups continue their journey to scale their solutions to meaningfully address some of India’s toughest problems, we are now ready to accept applications for our 5th Class and are looking for startups that are not only using scalable technology such as AI/ML, but are meaningfully helping the world adapt and move forward.


The accelerator class will be fully virtual with 3 months of support and will kick off with a virtual mentorship bootcamp in April/May, 2021.


If you are a startup that uses cutting edge technology to build for India and the world, solving societal and economic challenges, submit your application now at this link, by March 20, 2021. 


Startups that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Startups in either of these verticals but not limited to - Edtech, Healthtech, Fintech, Retail & Logistics, Media, Productivity and Agritech

  • Startups based in India

  • Preferably in the Seed to Series A, B stages


Posted By Paul Ravindranath, Program Manager, Google for Startups Accelerator India





Google News Initiative Vaccine Open Fund Winners

All over the world, a massive immunization effort is underway. 



The rapid nature of the COVID-19 vaccine development process and the great anxiety caused by the pandemic have made the topic of vaccination particularly susceptible to misinformation. Journalists can play a fundamental role supporting an evidence-based discourse by listening to their audiences’ concerns and providing corrective information about misconceptions that circulate online and offline.



To support this work, the Google News Initiative launched a $3 million Open Fund in January. Over a three-week window, we received more than 309 applications from 74 countries.



Today, we are announcing the 11 projects that were selected through an extensive review process that included a 17-person project team and an expert jury reviewing the highest-scoring applicants.



These projects stood out for their attempt to reach underrepresented audiences, explore new formats for fact checks and rigorous strategies to measure their impact. Each recipient will be sharing more details on their own channels in the upcoming weeks. Here’s a brief overview of the projects:


 

Africa Check, in partnership with Theatre for a Change, will produce a series of interactive radio drama shows in Wolof in Senegal and Pidgin in Nigeria to present fact checks in a more participatory format.


Agência Lupa will provide COVID-19 vaccine fact checks to a network of community radios covering Brazilian “news deserts” and work with digital influencers to promote media literacy on the topic.


Aleteia, I.Media and Verificat.cat will work with a scientific committee and two research centers to source misinformation and create a database of related fact checks available in seven languages for Catholic media outlets around the world.


Chequeado will continue spearheading the collaborative project Latam Chequea that includes more than 20 fact-checking organizations across Latin America. It will aim to reach senior citizens, indigenous populations and 18-to-26-year-olds through dedicated formats.


The hyperlocal digital site Escenario Tlaxcala, assisted by local doctors, will produce fact-checking content and distribute it across the Mexican state in Nahuatl and Otomí through various formats including by using “perifoneo” loudspeakers to reach offline audiences.


Katadata will provide a platform debunking COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and work with the Indonesia Traditional Wet Market Merchants Association (Asparindo) to disseminate this content to wet markets across the country.


In Uruguay, la diaria will publish fact checks and co-created content around COVID-19 misinformation, broadening its reach by partnering with trap music performer Pekeño 77 and screenwriter Pedro Saborido.


Servimedia and Maldita.es will join force to create fact-checking content relevant for Spaniards with disabilities, in formats that are accessible to them. 


Stuff will work in partnership with Māori Television and the Pacific Media Network to fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand.


A broad collaborative project led by The Quint in India will seek to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women.


Univision Noticias and FactCheck.org will work together to produce fact checks about COVID-19 immunization as short bilingual video explainers, with a plan to measure their impact systemically and reach a majority of U.S. Hispanic households.



Our goal is for the lessons learned from these initiatives to support our collective understanding of how best to combat misinformation about health topics, whether it’s through new audience strategies or new approaches to measuring the impact of fact checks. Stay tuned for more updates from us as these projects get underway.



Posted by Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead


Google News Initiative Vaccine Open Fund Winners

All over the world, a massive immunization effort is underway. 



The rapid nature of the COVID-19 vaccine development process and the great anxiety caused by the pandemic have made the topic of vaccination particularly susceptible to misinformation. Journalists can play a fundamental role supporting an evidence-based discourse by listening to their audiences’ concerns and providing corrective information about misconceptions that circulate online and offline.



To support this work, the Google News Initiative launched a $3 million Open Fund in January. Over a three-week window, we received more than 309 applications from 74 countries.



Today, we are announcing the 11 projects that were selected through an extensive review process that included a 17-person project team and an expert jury reviewing the highest-scoring applicants.



These projects stood out for their attempt to reach underrepresented audiences, explore new formats for fact checks and rigorous strategies to measure their impact. Each recipient will be sharing more details on their own channels in the upcoming weeks. Here’s a brief overview of the projects:


 

Africa Check, in partnership with Theatre for a Change, will produce a series of interactive radio drama shows in Wolof in Senegal and Pidgin in Nigeria to present fact checks in a more participatory format.


Agência Lupa will provide COVID-19 vaccine fact checks to a network of community radios covering Brazilian “news deserts” and work with digital influencers to promote media literacy on the topic.


Aleteia, I.Media and Verificat.cat will work with a scientific committee and two research centers to source misinformation and create a database of related fact checks available in seven languages for Catholic media outlets around the world.


Chequeado will continue spearheading the collaborative project Latam Chequea that includes more than 20 fact-checking organizations across Latin America. It will aim to reach senior citizens, indigenous populations and 18-to-26-year-olds through dedicated formats.


The hyperlocal digital site Escenario Tlaxcala, assisted by local doctors, will produce fact-checking content and distribute it across the Mexican state in Nahuatl and Otomí through various formats including by using “perifoneo” loudspeakers to reach offline audiences.


Katadata will provide a platform debunking COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and work with the Indonesia Traditional Wet Market Merchants Association (Asparindo) to disseminate this content to wet markets across the country.


In Uruguay, la diaria will publish fact checks and co-created content around COVID-19 misinformation, broadening its reach by partnering with trap music performer Pekeño 77 and screenwriter Pedro Saborido.


Servimedia and Maldita.es will join force to create fact-checking content relevant for Spaniards with disabilities, in formats that are accessible to them. 


Stuff will work in partnership with Māori Television and the Pacific Media Network to fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand.


A broad collaborative project led by The Quint in India will seek to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women.


Univision Noticias and FactCheck.org will work together to produce fact checks about COVID-19 immunization as short bilingual video explainers, with a plan to measure their impact systemically and reach a majority of U.S. Hispanic households.



Our goal is for the lessons learned from these initiatives to support our collective understanding of how best to combat misinformation about health topics, whether it’s through new audience strategies or new approaches to measuring the impact of fact checks. Stay tuned for more updates from us as these projects get underway.



Posted by Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead